The Election Commission has amended its rules. From now onwards, performance over two consecutive general or assembly elections, as opposed to one, would be the measure to determine the status of national or state parties. This means that parties like the BSP, the CPI and the NCP who suffered a drubbing in the last general election and faced a loss of tag of the ‘national party’ will get to keep it.
If they had lost their national party status, the EC could have given their existing party symbols to any other party. Currently, there are six national parties: BJP, Congress, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPI (Marxist); and 64recognised state parties in India.